|Evaluations of Offense Related Behavior in Sex Offenders with Developmental Disabilities
|Sunday, May 25, 2008
|1:30 PM–2:50 PM
|Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
|Chair: Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida)
|Discussant: Joel Eric Ringdahl (The University of Iowa)
|CE Instructor: Jorge Rafael Reyes, M.S.
This symposium will include three papers on the assessment and treatment of sex offenders with developmental disabilities. In the first presentation Astrid Hall will discuss the development of the mobile plethysmograph and show data related to the assessment of arousal in community settings. In the second presentation, Tim Vollmer will discuss the use of covert assessments in the assessment of high-risk behavior for sex offenders with developmental disabilities. In the third presentation, Jorge R. Reyes will describe the application of a paired-choice preference assessment format to evaluate visual preference for male and female children and adults. The discussant will be Joel Ringdahl who has published extensively in the areas of behavioral assessment and developmental disabilities.
|The Use of a Mobile Plethysmograph in the Assessment of Sex Offenders with Developmental Disabilities.
|ASTRID HALL (Seguin Unit), Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Gregory Jansen (State of Florida/Seguin Unit)
|Abstract: Evaluations of generalization and maintenance have been relatively absent in the assessment and treatment of sex offenders with developmental disabilities. For example, it is not known whether arousal levels achieved in clinical settings would be similar to arousal levels outside of clinical settings, and furthermore, it is not known whether any treatment success obtained in clinical settings would transfer to real-world settings. Therefore, the purpose of the current clinical evaluation was to evaluate the use of a mobile plethysmograph that allows for arousal assessments to occur outside of clinical settings. Four adult male sex offenders with developmental disabilities have participated as part of their ongoing clinical assessment and treatment. First, clinic-based plethysmograph assessments were conducted. Second, the mobile plethysmograph was tested in the clinic. Results showed similar patterns of arousal using both the non-mobile and the mobile plethysmograph. Third, the mobile plethysmograph was tested away from the clinic using target videos and photos. Fourth, the mobile plethysmograph was tested in the community during normally occurring community activities. Results showed that the device was capable of capturing periods of arousal and non-arousal for both participants. Potential treatment implications for the use of the mobile plethysmograph will be discussed.
|The Use of Covert Assessments for Sex Offenders with Developmental Disabilities.
|TIMOTHY R. VOLLMER (University of Florida), Jorge Rafael Reyes (University of Florida), Cristina M. Whitehouse (University of Florida), Gregory Jansen (State of Florida/Seguin Unit)
|Abstract: The assessment and treatment of sex offenders has typically revolved around evaluating and attempting to eliminate arousal to inappropriate stimuli (i.e., males and females under the age of 18). Whereas focusing on arousal has been shown to be important, it may only capture features of sexual offending that are more respondent in nature. Other factors may be more operant in nature and also important to consider in the sexual offense process. For example, how an individual behaves while in potentially high-risk situations (e.g., presence of children), would be important to determine. Therefore, the present study involved assessing responding of sex offenders diagnosed with developmental disabilities in high-risk situations. Specifically, we investigated how individuals responded while in the presence of high-risk materials (e.g., magazines that contained pictures of children) The procedures were based on other studies that involved covertly observing people placed in high-risk situations (e.g., Himle et al., 2005). Assessment results showed a range of responses such as avoiding the materials, looking at the materials briefly, and looking at the materials the entire duration of the session; however, in all cases, the methodology proved useful in identifying targets for behavior change. Implications for sex offender treatment programs will be discussed.
|The Use of a Paired-Choice Preference Assessment Format for Sex Offenders with Developmental Disabilities.
|JORGE RAFAEL REYES (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida), Andrew Samaha (University of Florida)
|Abstract: Some components of assessments for sex offenders involve indirect measures of preference (e.g., asking if they prefer children or adults, etc). Past research has shown that indirect measures are typically poor predictors of actual preference. In this presentation, we will describe a visual preference assessment method for sex offenders with developmental disabilities. In the assessment, participants are seated at a computer monitor and presented with a choice among two pictures. The pictures vary in terms of gender and age and each picture is presented with every other picture twice. When a selection is made, the other picture disappears and the chosen picture enlarges and is presented in the center of the screen for 10 seconds. The data are then analyzed in terms of the percentage of time that each picture was selected. The results showed clear preferences for different age and gender categories across participants. The use of preference assessments as a component of an overall assessment and treatment model will be discussed.